Microbial strains with high substrate efficiency and excellent environmental tolerance are urgently needed for the production of platform bio-chemicals. Bacillus coagulans has these merits; however, little genetic information is available about this species. Here, we determined the genome sequences of five B. coagulans strains, and used a comparative genomic approach to reconstruct the central carbon metabolism of this species to explain their fermentation features. A novel xylose isomerase in the xylose utilization pathway was identified in these strains. Based on a genome-wide positive selection scan, the selection pressure on amino acid metabolism may have played a significant role in the thermal adaptation. We also researched the immune systems of B. coagulans strains, which provide them with acquired resistance to phages and mobile genetic elements. Our genomic analysis provides comprehensive insights into the genetic characteristics of B. coagulans and paves the way for improving and extending the uses of this species.